Back pain in pregnancy
What causes it?
Back pain is a very common feature of pregnancy. It is estimated that 80% of all pregnant women will have some form of back pain.
It is caused by a variety of factors, the major one being of course the extra weight which must be carried around by the body during a pregnancy.
When does it start?
Backache in pregnancy can start as early as the first three months when the ligaments, which help to support the spine, begin to relax. This relaxation process is triggered by the changing hormonal levels of pregnancy and prepares the body for the developing bump! It usually results in mild back pain, which is relieved by gentle exercise and plenty of rest. Severe backache in the first three months of pregnancy may be a warning sign of an impending miscarriage and should always be reported to your GP.
In the middle three months of pregnancy, the relaxation of the ligaments around the spine will continue, and backache during this period is also caused by pressure from the growing baby and exaggerated curvature of the mothers spine.
Towards the end of pregnancy, persistent backache may herald the onset of labour.
How can I relieve the pain?
Backache in pregnancy can be relieved somewhat by participating in gentle exercise classes such as swimming and yoga. It is also very important to get sufficient rest and to maintain good posture at all times, even with an ever-expanding bump.
Does it disappear after delivery?
For the vast majority of women, the birth of their baby will result in the disappearance of the backache associated with their pregnancy. However, in some cases it may take several months for the pain to disappear completely. If pain persists unduly the situation should be reassessed by your doctor
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